200 rebels killed or captured in Afghanistan: NATO


NATO said Monday that about 200 Taliban-linked militants had been killed or captured in major military operations along Afghanistan’s troubled eastern border with Pakistan. Hundreds of Afghan troops backed by the US-led ISAF have been involved in a major offensive announced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Islamabad last week. The crackdown focused on the troubled border with joint forces going after insurgents linked to the hardline Haqqani group. “As these operations, which were Afghan-led and supported by ISAF, have concluded, we can now say that at least 20 Haqqani-affiliated insurgents have been killed or captured,” Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson told reporters.
About 175 non-Haqqani rebels were killed or captured, the ISAF spokesman said, adding that the operations lasted about one week. He said the operation had been designed to hit the insurgency hard ahead of the winter, when rebels retreat to hideouts along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and prepare for the new fighting season the following spring. She said a “major military operation” in Afghanistan “has been rounding up and eliminating Haqqani operatives on this side of the border”, while also saying international efforts were under way to cut the group’s finance flows. Operation Knife Edge was launched along the wild and porous border area in eastern Afghanistan, while Operation Shamshir was focused around Kabul and provinces south of the capital, and lasted about one week.